Yet more Stern criticism
David Maddison of the University of Birmingham in the UK adds his voice (PDF link) to the criticisms of the Stern Review, concluding:
There is much in the Stern report with which one can wholeheartedly agree. Climate
change is a problem. Climate policy can be informed by cost benefit analysis. The
treatment of uncertainty is of paramount importance and economic instruments have a
role to play in cutting carbon emissions. Permitting tropical deforestation is madness.
Some of the background material commissioned by Stern is top quality.
But the review also contains errors, questionable judgement and inconsistencies. Stern
moreover misses the opportunity to say some things which needed to be said. There is
often insufficient information to discover what Stern and his team have done and how
they arrive at key results. It would currently be impossible for another researcher to
replicate Stern’s findings for lack of information. Some of the evidence upon which
the review is based is dated whilst more recent evidence has been overlooked. The
Stern review should have been subject to far more extensive peer review prior to its
release, particularly in the light of its political impact.
Because of the shortcomings highlighted here and elsewhere it is unclear whether the
Stern report provides an economic rationale for the measures it recommends.
The Stern Review has been roundly castigated by economists who know about the subject. Yet politicians and advocates continue to trumpet it because it is politically convenient. Just who is distorting research findings here?